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Dieting  Methodology



One day---as I recall---in the month of December, 2016, my wife Miki and I were walking through Costco in Salem, Oregon when we saw some friends and stopped and talked to them. It was a couple and the fellow male friend had lost so much weight that I---at first---didn't say anything, because I wondered if, perhaps, he was ill or something . . . and I didn't want to offend. But, after a while the the part of the conversation came up about weight; and he told me that he had just lost 80 pounds . . . and it was ON THAT DAY that he had reached his weight goal.  WOW, I was very impressed, and he and his wife looked real good having lost so much weight. He told me at that time that he was part of a weight loss program where you bought a scale and then call in your weight regularly to the weight loss organization and so forth. Hmmm, I've never been one to pay anyone to accomplish something I could do on my own.


 so, I---after some time thinking about it---decided that "I was going to give myself a new body for Christmas!" (This was in January 2017); so, from the get-go, from that very first decision, it wasn't a MAYBE for me; it was I WILL DO THIS, for me.  So, I began at that moment to THEN start learning about the various processes and approaches of weight loss. I began doing a lot of reading and research and application.  I am placing this section on my website on this the 10th day of September, 2017; I have lost approximately 55 pounds [only 25 pounds more to go]; I have lost 8"+ of my waist size; I have gone from wearing  XL shirts to S and M . . . and my life has changed immensely for the better . . . and I am in better shape than I have been in probably 35 years. The compilation on to this site may take a while . . . as I discovered right away that the pictures I had in my other document, did NOT copy past to this location; but, in time, I will get it all here.; and then I will try to keep adding sections to help you out further, as we discover new food ideas and continue in the art of weight loss. 


You might ask, "Why am I preparing this section for my website?" Because people have seen my wife and my present look and weight loss and have asked the questions you'd expect, "How did you lose your weight?" and/or "What's is your weight loss secret?" Because EVERYONE OVERWEIGHT does not want to be there . . . and many are looking for a way to NOT be there.  Soooooo, my friends, I decided to sit down and begin writing and taking pictures and preparing a web blog that will help you do what we are doing, and HOPEFULLY, get you to where we are [or farther] in a good time of effort.  UP FRONT, let me tell you who are not Christians, that you will have to overlook my religious references . . . because I start each and every day with prayer . . . I end each and every day with prayer . . . and I pray in my heart and in my mind throughout the whole day . . .  and I ask for guidance and direction and assistance from on High.  Therefore, I do not believe that I live any one single day without answers to those prayers; so, I hope you will understand this principle as I write. With that said . . . onward I go; 


Following, you are going to be reading a document that has taken me a while to compile and complete [to as far as it is now, but I will continue to add to is as we learn new thing]; but, hopefully, it will help you to achieve your weight loss goals. If I can be of some assistance to you . . . through my research and my efforts . . . then, I will be so happy for that.  This writing is about the procedures and methodologies that we have developed to use to lose weight. Don’t be intimidated by it’s length, I have just included pictures of some of the foods that we have discovered and are using. And, REMEMBER weight loss isn’t easy; for if it were, more people would be doing it . . . =0)  But, with some of our suggestions, you will find that it much easier than just shooting in the dark and going without food.  IF you do decide to use some of our suggestions and/or methodologies and/or foods we use . . . we want you to know that we are not responsible for whatever may happen in your decisions to follow after our plan. We highly recommend that you ALWAYS see your doctor BEFORE you begin any diet or exercise program [because that is what I do] to get his approval and/or opinion in your chosen direction. 



Now there are some things about which I want you to be familiar; obviously, circumstances for everyone are different . . . their finances, their living accommodations, their family size, their transportation methods, their access to the internet, etc., etc., etc.. So, as you read this, keep this in mind. You will have to adapt it to YOUR circumstances. The main goal with our plan is the safe reduction of calorie intake . . . and how to make that reduction (which is a change of habit) as pleasant as possible. Realize that your circumstances will change as Heavenly Father blesses you more and more as you advance in the Gospel.  Dieting for some can seem like a trial . . . but, not only in dieting, but it is great to understand and realize from the get-go that trials will come to all of us in various forms and in various ways; but, if we make the decision from the get-go, that THIS is what YOU ARE GOING TO DO!! Then, that first determination and dedication will help you throughout the process. 


I have found that dieting and living the Gospel, for me, have proven to go hand in hand. As, we are to keep our appetites and passions within the bounds the Lord has set; and, to me, this also means that I take care in what I eat and drink and how I take care of my body.






Of course—in my weight loss approach---I wanted it to be as painless and productive as possible; so, research was involved and---for me---a lot of reading and studying various aspects of eating and diet and nutrition.  I will spare you much of the reading part of my findings, but will share with you just what I have learned that affected our processes. In the following pages I will describe what my wife and I discovered along the way for foods that we could use that would help us in our goal. 




One of the things that I did was, by happenstance, (probably from Heavenly Father’s guidance) I found myself a member of a website called It came along at a perfect time. On my computer each morning would be a new awesome tidbit of healthy eating styles and  information about so many types of foods, it was great. I did some substantial reading; and that site helped me to get a good start in developing the understanding I needed in my approach to a whole new way of life consisting of new eating habits . . . of different types of foods . . . and I developed an awareness of what I was doing wrong in my lifestyle choices before my diet. I later had Miki join the same nutritional site so that we could both be enlightened nutritionally. =0) So, as you develop your approach, be aware and try to keep an ear out for any information that will help you achieve your goals.




Mik and I decided---from the get-go---that we would use a calorie based diet weight loss goal. Simply put . . . by watching the amount of calories a  person consumes per day, one will either; 

1. Remain the same weight; 
2. Gain weight; or 
3. lose weight. 

Americans, in general, eat far, FAR too many calories per day and, as well, they eat so much of the wrong foods. Mik and I are amazed—as we think back—at how many calories we were consuming while out and about . . . and not even giving it much thought. Thousands of calories . . . sheesh.

So, to begin . . . for us to at least get an understanding as to where to start for our calorie consumption, I went to the following link (below);


If you don’t have a computer, you can a) use a computer at a library;  OR b) use a friend’s computer. 



Once you are at a computer; follow these directions:



1. Once you have copy-pasted the link ( onto your browser, hit ENTER and you will be taken to a page that will say, "BMR Calculator " (BMR = Basal Metabolic Rate). Below this, you will see where you fill in [under BMR Calculator] your AGE, your GENDER, your WEIGHT, and your HEIGHT; then,  fill in all these spaces and then CLICK the button that says "Calculate Your BMR."



2. You will then see “Your BMR [your results] in the light blue-gray line just below  where you just input the numbers.”

"Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is an estimate of how many calories you'd burn if you were to do nothing but rest for 24 hours. It represents the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning, including breathing and keeping your heart beating. 


Okay, so for example, for ME, I filled in the blanks from what I was when I first started my diet. My “Current Weight” was then 241 pounds; my “Height” was 5'10"; my “Age, was 67;" and my “Sex” is male. So, my results showed that my BMR was 1,874



Now, what do I do with that number to establish how many calories I should consume per day? I’ll show you . . . this information below is from the “myfitnesspal” website . . . and I thank them for their research and their efforts in all of our behalf . . . 



Using BMR to Determine Your Calorie Goal;


Eating fewer calories than your body needs to function will result in weight loss. To lose 1 pound a week, reduce your daily intake by 500 calories.  So, that meant, for me, if I take my BMR of 1,874 and subtracted 500 calories per day . . . that would mean that I would need to eat less than 1,374 calories per day . . . to lose one pound per week. While the BMR provides the number of calories your body uses for basic functions, the other factors that affect calorie needs, including activity and the thermic effect of food, also account for part of your total calorie needs. 



To calculate the calories you need to maintain your current weight, multiply your BMR by an activity factor. If you do not exercise and have a desk job, your activity factor is 1.2. If you exercise one to three days a week, your activity factor is 1.375. If you exercise three to five days a week, your activity factor is 1.55. If you're involved in sports and exercise 6 to 7 days a week, your activity factor is 1.725. If you're training for a marathon or have a physically demanding job, your activity factor is 1.9



So, for me, this calculation would be 1874 X 1.55 = 2904.7 - 500 = 2404.7 calories per day is what I would need to eat to lose 1 pound per week. However, I have chosen to double the suggested reduction of 500 calories per day to 1000 reduction in calories per day . . . in an effort to lose 2 pounds per week; so, my calorie limit per day would then be 1404.7.  


UPDATE; Wednesday; November 15th, 2017; 9:56 am:

It has now been 10-1/2 months that I have been on my diet. I have discovered---for me---that if I eat the above mentioned "1404.7 calories per day---now that I've lost nearly 60 pounds---that I will MAINTAIN my weight, and not lose much. In-other-words, the more weight you lose, the harder it can be to lose the pounds.  My weight is down now (as I am close to my goaled body appearance) and, though I have a little over 20 pounds to lose to my original 80 pound goal, my body is looking good now, and a) since I've lost the weight I have, and b) since it is harder to shed pounds, I have been asking myself, "Do I really need to lose more weight?" Hence, I have been having thoughts to do some checking of my body fat and weight ratio to see if I am---even now---nearing at a good place to call my goal of a "New Body for Christmas" complete. But, I will carry on losing weight until I come to that conclusion. I LOVE what I have experienced so far!! It has literally changed my life. I truly LOVE every aspect of my decision to lose weight . . . there are NO negatives about it; though, yes, it takes some gumption and self-discipline, but even THAT is an asset . . . to learn to be disciplined in every way of our lives is a good thing. The ol' often-said statement, "It's all good!" definately applies here. It IS "GREAT" to lose weight.


Now, to carry on with the blog . . . 


. . . However, it was suggested on the above mentioned website that  women should not eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day, and men should not eat fewer than 1,800 calories a day, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. If subtracting 500 calories puts you below those numbers, you'll need to cut fewer calories from your diet and exercise more to burn the rest. For me, I have chosen to stick with the goal of 1404 calories or less per day and I exercise (more like between 1100-1300).





So, use this formula to decide what you wish to do with your weight loss program; 


YOUR BMR   X   YOUR ACTIVITY LEVEL (see "ACTVITY CHART"below) = RESULTS  -  500 CAL PER DAY . . . to lose 1 pound per week.




NO EXERCISE =                   1.2

EXERCISE 1-3 DAYS/WK =  1.375

         "       3-5        "         =  1.55

         "       6-7        "         =  1.725





So, these figures give you an idea what it is you need to eat as far as calories are concerned. After my doctor’s visit (which I mention below), he informed me that to have a healthy weight loss program, I needed to consume at least 1500 calories per day . . . and lose from 4 to 8 pounds per month. So, I set my goal of calorie consumption at about 1100-1300 calories per day . . . and that has worked out well for me so far. 


In eight months I've; for JAN, 2017: LOST 8.25 LBS; FEB: LOST 8.75 LBS; MAR: LOST 6.5 LBS; APR: LOST 7.5 LBS; MAY:  LOST 7.25 LBS JUNE: LOST 6.75 LBS; JULY: LOST 5.25 LBS; AUG: LOST 3.25 LBS; SEPT: LOST 2 LBS; OCT:  GAINED 1 LB; NOV: LOST 5.2 LBS (AT 181.3 POUNDS on NOV 30th);  August was sweet cherry season, and that's when I began to lose less weight because I ate about 60 plus cherries per day; AND, we were having 2 cheater meals per week that month . . . I will cover "cheater meals" later on. But, as you can see, your weight loss per month will vary; AND THAT'S OKAY!! You just need to LOSE WEIGHT every month. People will lose weight at different rates.  Keep in mind for my rates, I am a very active person. I am remodeling our home ALONE (a HUGE project . . . up and down ladders, etc.) AND, I exercise in the mornings. (Update; Nov 30th, 2017) You will find that you reach certain plateaus of weight loss that will last for weeks sometimes. For example, through October---where I gained a pound for that month---and November [2017] it seemed like I was going to be in the 180's FOREVER . . . hovering at 185 and there-abouts for WEEKS. But, don't let that discourage you . . . it's a PROCESS and it takes patience and endurance and sticktoitiveness. I'm writing this in the early afternoon of Thursday, November 30th, 2017 and I am thrilled at a 5.2-pound weight loss for November. I am ALMOST out of the 180's, and I told my wife that I was going to be VERY strict on my eating habits---excluding my cheater meal (which comes on Saturday evenings in a Chinese food meal)---until  I'm into the 170's FINALLY. You will see, you get so use to knowing how many calories are in which food that you don't need to count them on a calculator any longer . . . HOWEVER, you will find that also, during these times, that you will also fudge sometimes on the amounts you eat, so, thennnnnn, it takes longer for the pounds to drop off. But, like I said, it's all a PROCESS that I am SO THANKFUL that I started back in January. I already look GREAT in my eyes---body-wise---when I look in the mirror, and it's only going to get better as I stay strong until I reach my goal of 161 pounds. I still have a bit of the lower belly fat that needs to go; and, it use to be that when I looked in the mirror there was a lot of fat jiggling around if I moved too quickly . . . but, not anymore; it's all going to bye-bye land . . . and THERE it will stay. I am enjoying being thin and eating right WAYYYYY too much to go back to where I was. This decision to lose weight will now affect the rest of my life, what a GREAT goal. I will say here that one of the staples of our weight loss regiment is the Costco Protein Bars that I picture later on in this article. They are DELICIOUS and they are usually what Mik and I eat for breakfast . . . or lunch. I will say right now, the day and time of this writing it is 1:18 pm in the afternoon, and I am only now starting to eat my protein bar. When I am eager to lose weight and stay on track toward my goal, I will wait to start my eating day with a protein bar until I am hungry and ready to eat.  When I get busy in the mornings and stay busy, it is often that I don't think of food until---like today---later on in the day. And, THAT works out GREAT, because, now, at this later time, I am often able to eat a light snack (and drink a lot of fluids) to be able to wait until dinner time before I have a regular full meal . . . mind you that I am still full of energy from the vitamins I took the night before just before I went to bed.


VITAMINS  BEFORE BED:  (update continued):


I will share here what I take for vitamins before I go to bed . . . and have taken [pretty much] for some 25 years or so. My mother---bless her sweet soul---introduced me to the Costco Vitamin Energy Pack some 25 to 30 years ago. They were a group of 6 vitmains in a plastic pack that came in a 90 count box. BUT, as has been the case in my life forever, anything I like and use is discontinued to be manufactured. And, so it was with this box of vitamins. So, then, I created my own by buying large bottles of what I took before and take them all---with cholcolate milk---before bed each night. I find that by taking these vitamins before bed, I awake in the mornings full of energy and excited about my day and about life. I try to ALWAYS maintain a energetic and positive attitude about me, it's so much more refreshing and uplifting than a downer-negative attitude . . . and, it so much easier to maintain such an attitude when you are full of energy, right? So, here is what I take each evening (some are taken every other evening, and I will explain those).


FISH OIL: (3000 mg nightly) you can read a lot about the benefits of fish oil; and, 

as far as that goes, if you wish, you may check out via a Google search


regarding what the benefits are of each of the vitamins I will mention in


this part of my article. Therefore, I won't go into detail about why I take

each vitamin. 







I know that it’s hard to hear as a woman; but, PLEASE, be mindful that every person is different but, generally, men lose weight faster---on the average---than do women; it’s just a part of our physiological make up . . . and we lose more by quite a difference. But, don’t be discouraged; as in my wife Miki’s case, she has her goals and I have mine . . . we just watch our calories and watch the weight fall off. It just all takes patience and time.  

Here are some things to remember in this weight loss process if you want it to be a positive and rewarding experience. . . in my opinion; 

1. Don’t worry about the day to day weigh-in thing. If you get on the scale every day, you’re going to have a lot of frustrations and disappointments that will put things on the negative side. Some days you will lose weight . . . and some days you won’t . . . and some days you will gain weight . . . and sometimes, you will remain around the same weight for even a couple of weeks or longer. It’s just how it works!! I like to be positive, SO, REMEMBER . . . this is a LONG TERM GOAL you are undertaking . . . I mean—depending on how much you want to lose—we’re talking a year or so here. So, be realistic. I found—for me—my main weigh-in (upon which I focused) was the the month’s end weigh-in. This way—with a goal to lose  between 4 to 8 pounds per month (as the doctor suggested), I was doing as he said . . . as you can see from the stats I mentioned above, I have been quite successful and have lost within the prescribed range [from 4 to 8 pounds] every month but one!! . . . and that is all positive and I feel very good about that . . . and I am encouraged to carry on. I’ve gone from a 40 waist to now I’m wearing a 32 waist size in my britches . . . and, mind-you, I was wearing a 30 waist size WHEN I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL. And I’ve gone from a 17-1/2" [XL] shirt neck size to a 15-1/2" [M] shirt size that I just put on today. So, things are good for me . . . and they will be for you, too. 
2. When folks are married [or a couple] . . . it is ALWAYS EASIER if the both of you lose weight together.  Why? Because, that way, the meals, the food available in the house, and the planned and thought of food items are decided together. It is an extra challenge for only one person in a household—especially with children still at home—to lose weight and stay on a diet. Because everyone else is eating whatever they want . . . and you can’t; plus, as well, then the meals, the food on the shelves, what everyone else is eating . . . is NOT what you can eat, and it makes it more difficult . . . but still doable. 
3. Establish a plan that works as a pattern . . . You will do this one naturally . . . because humans are patternistic and habitual by nature. For example, Mik and I keep our calories consumed in the daytime to a minimum. That way, when we sit down together for our dinner meal, we can have a more substantial feast while we are enjoying our food together . . . since she goes off to work each day, and I am at home working. 


As said, doctor’s appointments can be expensive, and you don’t have to do this, but, before I began my weight loss regime and exercise regiment, I wanted to make a doctor’s appointment and, there, have a complete physical. I told the doctor my intentions . . . to change my lifestyle and to lose 80 pounds and start an exercise regiment. I will say here that I am a Mormon, so, I already had a good set up for a good life style; i.e., I don’t drink alcohol, coffee or tea and I don’t smoke. So I had a good head start in a good set of habits to help me along in my goals. The physical found me to be in good basic physical health . . . only overweight at 241 pounds. He told me that I should be cautious as to how I go about losing my weight . . . he said that I should shoot for losing from 4 to 8 pounds a month. He said that that is a healthy way to lose weight because the skin---and the rest of the body as well---can keep up with the weight that goes off. 


He told me also about the possibility of the body going into a “starvation mode” if a person doesn’t eat the right amount of calories. In this mode, the body holds on to the calories it has . . . thinking that you are starving. In that case, it becomes hard to lose weight. Also, I read in another article that it can be said to be a healthy move to have one splurge meal per week [the "Cheater Meal" I mentioned above] . . . to keep the body from entering this “starvation mode.” So, Miki and I use our Saturday Date Day (that we have every week) to be our splurge day. What we do is watch our caloric intake during the daytime on Saturday, but, when our evening meal comes, we go out for Chinese food and consume a bit more than the usual amount of calories just for that one day. It seems to work in keeping the body in the weight loss mode. And we have a meal to look forward to that we really do not worry about the caloric count.
Of course you hear it everywhere from everyone . . . that exercise is good for you; and of course, I agree. But, one rule I have . . . and something that you’ll want to try to do is make your exercise regiment one that you enjoy. It’s enough to begin doing something you may not be use to doing . . . but to make it something you don’t enjoy will only bring to pass discouragement and . . . a good chance that you will quit the whole process before you really get going in it.


I have some suggestions for you here; first of all, if you can walk, start walking!! It is a great place to start, and who doesn’t enjoy a good brisk walk just to get away and think and ponder about life and things. I recommend getting your hands on a measurement wheel (I own three of them. I buy them at garage sales and thrift stores when I see them). That way you can—on one of your very first walks, measure out 1/4 mile, then ½ mile, then 3/4 mile, and then 1 mile and then 1-1/4 mile, then 1-1/2 miles, then 1-3/4 miles and then maybe 2 miles . . . and put a little mark at these places (perhaps just a spot of paint at each location). You decide what distance you will use. Some people use a block as a distance, some people use several blocks, and some use electronic apps to guide them going different places each day. Me . . . I have a mile and a half main distance that I use for my jogging path . . . and an additional ½ mile distance I use for my cool-down walk. I was a certified basketball official for 26 years, so I’ve pretty much always had to keep in shape . . . and I don’t need to run MILES to do that. I start off each exercise season with just a walk  (I use to run, no matter what . . . rain, snow, sleet or hail or shine, but now I’m older and only exercise outdoors in pleasant weather). I then slowly increase the speed of my walk . . . and then I will mix a jog and a walk . . . until I can jog the entire mile and a half. Yes, I do push myself, but you don’t have to. Just take your time and improve at your own rate. The MAIN thing is that you are exercising. Be consistent and persistent. It takes time to lose weight . . . so, don’t worry about the short stuff---time wise---in weight loss . . . keep looking to the long term goal. For example, in my case of wanting to lose 80 pounds, I figured in January that I would give my self a new body by Christmas. I gave myself one year to accomplish my 80 pounds. If it takes longer . . . so what?! I don’t’ care!! ATTITUDE is a HUGE player in weight loss (and in ANYTHING in life). And, rather than standing on the scale and measuring day by day, or even week by week, I—in stead [though I may still have a look here and there]—aim my main goal to my once-a-month main weigh-in . . . and I do this on the last day of each month (of which I chart and keep a record on my computer . . . or you can do it on a piece of paper). 


Okay, now on to FOOD RELATED MATTERS: 


One thing that we discovered is that, WOW, we were really tanking in the calories before we started our weight loss program. It was then that we really educated ourselves on what foods were good for you and what foods had hundreds and hundreds of calories that we were eating daily.
In this section, I will show you some foods that we found to buy that helped in a huge amount . . . to allow us to not always be starving . . . but, provided for us healthy low calorie foods that we could eat in a planned way each day.

We discovered that foods high in protein would help you not feel so hungry so often. So, what I am going to outline for you is our common plan for our days of food consumption . . . of course with variations able to be tried whenever you wish. We found two WONDERFUL food items that really helped us; one of these—the Protein bar---was shown to me by my daughter, Jasee . . . who has always been a very health-conscious eater, and the other we happened on quite accidently in a grocery shelf. These two can be interchanged to either have one in the morning and one at noon’ish . . . or switch them around visa-versa. 











The first food item is a Protein Bar that contains 15 grams of protein and 190 calories. It is DELICIOUS!!! You will look forward to the experience of eating one of these; they are available at Costco, 20 per case and for about $17 per case.  


As you can see, the BARS are pictured left and the box they come in are pictured right. As I mentioned . . . you will love the taste of these protein bars; they’re so good you will wonder how anything so good could be good for you?


If you don’t have the money for such bars, then, eggs are cheap. What I like to do is cook myself my favorite breakfast meal . . . poached eggs on toast. There are 78 calories in one large egg. So, with 2 eggs (156 calories) and two pieces of toast (of the bread I will describe shortly, that would be 90 calories) . . . so 156 plus 90 equals 246 calories. At just 20 cents or so per egg, you get 6 grams of high quality protein and all nine essential amino acids. Eggs are an excellent source of choline (for synthesis and transport of lipids, for liver and brain function and muscle movement, etc.) and selenium (for the thyroid health) and vitamin D and vitamin B12, phosphorus (1% of a person’s total body weight is phosphorus, the 2nd most abundant mineral in the body) and riboflavin (vitamin B2 that helps the body break down carbs, proteins and fats). You can boil the eggs and eat them at any time . . . like the protein drink is at 160 calories, you can have 2 (at 156 calories) or three (234 calories) boiled eggs in stead . . .


The next item I will share is called Premier Protein Drink. It comes in Chocolate, Vanilla, and in Bananas & Cream and is PACKED with goodness and health . . . with 30 grams of protein and lots and lots of vitamins. You’ll be amazed when you read the label how many vitamins are packed into this container. 














These shakes are tasty, and—as I previously mentioned above---I would recommend that anytime you are having food high in protein that you try and be sure to drink a lot of water, or liquid of some sort to help the kidneys out in getting all that protein to pass through your system. These protein drinks are also available at Costco by the case [20 per case] and cost about $28. 


As I mentioned earlier that what we would do often is have a protein drink for breakfast or lunch (that way you are preparing an energy source for your body about midday) and, we could then have a protein bar for lunch—or visa versa. As I am busy working on my house, this works out fine, as I am so busy and time passes by so quickly; and I haven’t felt hungry between the drink and the bar. You’ll know—because your body will tell you—when it’s time to have the bar after the drink. I found that if I did this routine, I would have energy throughout the morning.
Moving forward with some other suggestions in your eating ventures, I will include some items we found that ended up being wonderful helps to our weight loss efforts . . . 


Sometimes when you are dieting, you just want something on which to munch; and, so I thought . . . since celery is so good for you and you can eat as much of it as you want . . . “Why not make eating celery as easy and pleasant as possible?” So, one of the first things that I created to help my wife and I in our dieting venture was to buy pre-washed and cut celery stocks (available at Safeway, Costco and Winco) and cut them into bite-sized pieces!  
















We all know that celery isn’t the easiest vegetable to eat in the world . . . what with having to take a bite and crunch and then pull off the grainy morsel with a tug; so the bite-size piece idea made a HUGE difference (you’ll see); after cutting it up, celery was then a very convenient and easy-to-eat snack. I would place the bite-sized morsels into a quart sized sandwich-type bag and therefore be able to keep it by my side while I ate it . . . and then put it in the fridge and keep it fresh when I’d had enough.  It worked GREAT, and they can almost become addictive . . .=0) . . . AND, it’s okay to be a celery addict!! 


Try it, you’ll see for yourself. =0) Also, be mindful that—from my experience---the larger-wider, lighter green celery stock has the most mellow taste and is easiest to eat; the narrow, darker green stocks are tougher and more bitter’ish to the taste. But they’re all good. Be careful, however, Miki found that her gums became sore because she ate so many . . . =0)  Here (above) is a picture of some celery I’ve cut up into bite-sized pieces and then put them back into the bag in which they came. I think that you will find this to be helpful when you have the munchies. I find that when I have some protein . . . like some pieces of deli turkey . . . I can drink a lot of fluids and have some celery and it helps me feel more full. You see, celery has so few calories, that it is said that you burn more calories chewing it than you gain by eating it. So, you can have as much of this veggie as you like. And that is something that I enjoy.













Of course, one thing that is a common food item that nearly all of us eat is BREAD. But, did you know that most common bread brands have at least 100 calories per slice? OUCH . . . so, right from the get-go, you have 200 calories before you even put anything inside your sandwich. BUT, what we found is GREAT. We found a Sara Lee brand of bread that only has 45 calories per slice!! That means you could have two slices for less than the calories of one slice of other brands. And, this bread is available at Safeway, Winco and Walmart. The end of the loaf looks like this . . . 


So, you can use this bread for your hamburgers, and sandwiches and french toast, etc., etc. It’s a bit pricey in the stores (from around $3.50 to $4.35) BUT, you can find it at the bread thrift discount stores for around $1.10 per loaf. 













Now, it’s only natural in sequence that I tell you about something you put between the bread I just mentioned, right? So, what is—in my opinion---the very best tasting deli turkey in the world is made by Hillshire Farm.  You will know exactly what I mean when you buy it and have the very first taste. This yummy turkey is found also at Costco and has ONLY 45 calories for 3 slices!! That is just 15 calories per slice!! Believe me, you will find yourself going over to the fridge and just stuffing a few slices in your mouth from time to time. This product was also a suggestion from my daughter Jasee. So, say you have some kind of a fruit snack, then you can go to the fridge and grab yourself three slices of this turkey (at only 45 calories) to then have both the fruit and a protein as well. 












When a person first starts dieting, they discover that mayonnaise is a fattening food . . . most of the time!! We sure thought so . . . UNTIL . . . we discovered this brand and type of mayo. This ONLY HAS 15 CALORIES per tablespoon.  Wow, can you believe that?!!  What I’ve found is that I can take a can of tuna . . . which if full of protein (13 grams) and has only 60 calories per 5 oz. can; then I add just one tablespoon of this mayo (15 calories), a tablespoon of Bread and Butter Pickle Relish (the next item [shown below] for 15 calories per TBL SP . . . and purchased at the DOLLAR STORE); and mix it all up, and I can make TWO sandwiches with the low cal bread above. So,  all total, that’s just 135 calories per sandwich!! How can you beat that? Then, If you decide to just have one sandwich with a bowl of Pregresso Soup (see below), you have a total of 275 calories for a soup and sandwich!! 













I don’t know about you, but I think bread and butter pickles are the bomb when it comes to taste!! And, with this item shown in the pic above—as mentioned, purchased from the Dollar Store when it is in stock; you have to kinda watch for it—is SUPER for adding to salads or sandwiches or burgers, etc., etc. And, as mentioned above, this relish ONLY HAS 15 CALORIES per TBLS.


















PROGRESSO LIGHT SOUPS:                       
I mentioned earlier that there is a soup on the market that is PERFECT for the dieter who is watching his/her calories. Light Progresso Brand Soups have a number of soups that you can buy with only 120 to 140 calories per can . . . on up. They are delicious and do well in filling you up . . . especially if you have a sandwich as well. Canned goods usually list a half a can as a serving; so you can see on the pics below the 70 calorie number on the Chicken Noodle Soup.















Ahhhh Pretzels!! I LOVE em!! Because they are one of the dieters best friends . . . because they are tasty and you can have—like in the example shown—24 pieces for just 120 calories (depending on the brand and size); so, when you are watching TV and have the munchies . . . and are watching your calories . . . out comes the pretzels. And Snyders is a very good tasting brand (like the one shown above) . . . My wife and I like to write the amount you can have for how many calories in felt pen on the bottom area somewhere down low, nice and big where it can be seen easily . . . because, sometimes, we cut off the top of the bag to get easier access to the pretzels and so we cut off the calorie information.



Some of the other foods that Miki and I have found to be handy to have around at diet time, I will, list below;  

















So, I will begin with fish sticks, (the kind we buy are thick and yummy and have 53 calories each).  These fish sticks pictured are the best we have found in quality and size; a Trident brand and usually cost $11.99 at Costco for about 60 sticks in a package. But they have them on sale from time to time; as a matter-of-fact, just this week they are on sale for just $7.99 . . . now THAT is a cheap meal. Sometimes in the evening  when we are tired and want a quick and easy way to fix dinner . . . FISH STICKS are a favorite . . . and we have found some yummy ones.

















Spring rolls are always a delight and an easy meal; sometimes we buy the veggie type for in the 125 to 150 calorie range each {foreground on right pic] , or the standard type for 190 calories each [background on right pic].  



Of course you know that just about EVERYONE "LOVES" a delicious juicy hamburger; and, lean hamburger is the way for a dieter; did you know that if you use 85-95% lean hamburger that there is only 263 calories in a 1/3 pound hamburger patty that is 90% lean? Now I'm not talking about a quarter pound patty, I said a 1/3rd pound patty.. . . and who doesn’t like a nice, fat and juicy hamburger from time to time, right? And if you throw that patty in between the two 45 calorie slices of the special bread mentioned . . . with a TBL SPN of the 15 calorie mayo, and a tbl spn of the 15 calorie bread and butter pickle relish; and some lettuce and a sprinkle of cheese and a slice of tomatoe . . . and you have yourself one yummy low calorie burger. That's skinny eatin' no matter who you are. And, if you want some of the BEST quality hamburger of that leanness, then, we suggest you watch for a Roth's sale. They will sell hamburger of that leanness at a good price every-once-in-a-while, and we have found their burger to be the best.



I suppose that there are those who don't like salads, but, we LOVE em' and such are the BEST for the weight-watcher. The lettuce is quite inexpensive and remember that Romaine Lettuce is among the most nutritious of the lettuces.  Salad fixings like lettuce [reg and romaine], beats, red and yellow peppers, spinach, bread and butter relish, the deli turkey, the deli ham [that I will show below] and a sprinkling of shredded cheese . . . yummmm. We use shredded cheese because it lends itself to using less and still getting the cheese taste in your salad. And, what about salad dressings? You may ask? Well, in our research we have discovered some DELICIOUS low calorie salad dressings . . . just like we found the low calorie mayo. 














Pictured above are three great finds regarding salad dressings; to the left is a thousand island that is only 60 calories for 2 tbls spns; one of my favorites is the Kraft  Raspberry Lite that only has  30 calories for 2 tbl spns; and the OPA Greek Yogurt Ranch that has 60 calories for 2 tbl spns. You will get use to being light on your salad dressings and STILL get a great taste. 



Nuts are a GREAT, nutritious food. I read about a study that was done where people took on hand full of nuts per day and it didn't make any difference in the weight gain; so, in my weight loss program, I allow myself to take one handfull of either nuts OR trailmix without  counting the calories for that handful; it's my BEING GOOD bonus each day. And, what I will mention  here is that it is VERY IMPORTANT to distribute your intake of food in a way that takes into consideration the distribution of energy [or fuel] throughout the day; i.e., don't let yourself go more than 3 hours without having some sort of nutrition . . . otherwise, you will experience burn out, or a sudden  tiredness and/or lack of energy.  Just like your car, the body needs to have fuel to burn; and if you go too long without nutrition, you will see what I mean. I usually have energy throughout the day because I am mindful of my food consumption. 


Miki and I have found two different nut sources we enjoy very much;


























As you can see, they are both Costco products; the trail mix is nice because it provides a bit of aid to the sweet tooth with the M & M's . . . and I enjoy that. The mixed nuts are of the best quality, without peanuts, this item is extremely delicious; but you have to watch yourself on this one, as it has 170 calories per 17 nuts.



Who doesn't like ICE CREAM . . . even when you are dieting?  Well, we have discovered some YUMMY stuff in the 

; . nuts/trail mix; ice cream bars (yummy and creamy for only 60 calories each); yum, yum, yummm. 















As mentioned, these are both just 60 calories each, and , at the end of the day, when you have done will with your diet goals, it';s good to have a little treat now and again. They are both Healthy Choice are both can be found at Costso and/;or Safeway.



Earlier I mentioned fish sticks and spring rolls . . .  and so I wanted to mention another thing Mik and I came across that changes how you cook many things in the oven. It’s the Gotham Crisper Tray.  This wonderful tray cooks the fish sticks all the way around without having to watch the clock and turn them over. They come out nice and crisp. As well, things like fries and, well, anything you may want to cook in the oven for a snack like spring rolls, etc., etc. come out nice and hot and CRISPY. Be mindful that this item should be placed in the dish washer in the top rack only. We found this critter at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but you could probably find it in other stores as well. It costs $19.99 .  . . and is worth every penny of that. The problem is that, for a larger family, you’d need two of them or you’d have to eat in shifts . . . grin. 


















I mentioned earlier that it was important to drink a lot of liquids during this diet . . . for three reasons; 1) it helps the kidneys when you are consuming a large amount of proteins; and 2) it helps you feel full for longer periods when you are drinking a lot of liquids; and 3) the body needs fluids to do what it needs to do. It is common knowledge in anything you read in the health areas of self-care . . . drink a lot of liquids. According to the Mayo Clinic, a person should drink 8 each 8 ounce glasses of water a day. That’s 64 ounces . . . that is a half a gallon of liquids per day.

What Mik and I found is a drink we really enjoy that has no Aspartame sweetener in it . . . it’s made by Welch’s and it is found at the DOLLAR STORE . . . IF they stock it. I include a picture of the two kinds they have below; 

















These taste very good and what’s an additional special feature is that they are strong packets; and what I mean by that is that with other brands I’ve had to use 1-1/2 packets to get a good taste from a larger water bottle [that I will describe here shortly]; whereas, with this drink, just one packet brings to pass a strong and delicious taste and—as I mentioned—it has no Aspartame artificial sweetener that has been suggested not to be good for your system.  We're finding it hard to find these any longer at the Dollar Store, so I may have to look online to find more.


So, what Mik and I have found is that if we buy the SMART WATER drink bottles in the two different sizes as shown below, you can take the flip top off of the smaller bottle and use it on the larger bottle and it works great to carry around and be drinking it throughout the day . . . AND, just one of these Welches packets brings a great taste to the larger SmartWater bottle. 
You’ll find this to quickly become a part of your daily routine . . . having close your water bottle as you drink a lot of liquids throughout the day. 
We buy these water bottles at Winco here in Oregon; but I imagine they can be found at other grocers as well. 
One might wonder, why don’t they put the flip top cap on the bigger bottle? Well, Mik and I think that it’s because the big bottle wouldn’t fit on the shelves if they had the flip top cap . . . because they are pretty tall.. So, you have to buy both the big and the small and switch the lids.
















For the calorie watcher, Mik and I have discovered some delicious ways to have a fast and nutritious meal whenever we’re too weary to cook. One of those delicious combos is the Costco rotisserie chicken (which is ALWAYS amazing) combined with yummy steamed veggies bought in a combo bag a Winco (see below). The chicken only costs $4.99 and the whole bag of mixed veggies is only $3.99 . . . and we can sit and devour the two in one sitting and not suffer bunches in the weight contest . . . however, we do keep our calories down during the daytime as mentioned . . . which is fairly easy to do when we are both busy. 















This is just a beginning of an attempted description of we’ll call---for fun---the Rish n Miki Diet process. We have done our research and are always trying to find better and better ways to make dieting an enjoyable experience. My plan is to be adding more and more things to my writing as we discover more and more advantageous methodologies to our dietary journeys.


No matter what food you get, as you start counting your calories, you will see 1)  how many calories are in a serving and 2) what constitutes a serving. Even if you don’t get any of the foods that are mentioned in this document, you can always watch—and count---your calories. Basically, the ol’ saying that 14 days make a habit; that is what you are going to be doing, creating for yourself a new way of life . . . a bunch of new habits. 
This may be as long as a year long—or longer [depending on your goal]---project and so over time, you will develop your means to accomplish your goal. Be determined; be persistent; be creative; think of the ways foods you like to eat and make a plan around including them . . . only in smaller portions while increasing the amounts of foods you eat that are of the lower calorie type. My mother said often, “Where there’s a will . . . there’s a way!” and I believe that this is a true statement. When I began my diet plans I was as confident then as I am now that I will finish my goal as I planned in the beginning.


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